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Harriet the Spy
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Reviews & Ratings for
Harriet the Spy More at IMDbPro »

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Index 39 reviews in total 

2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Disjointed, confusing, and mean-spirited

2/10
Author: Jay
18 July 2014

This movie is extremely disjointed. It moves from one seemingly random scene to another with no real explanation of what is going on. Even after an hour into the movie, I could not have told you what the movie was even about. To quote my children, "That movie was terrible!"

Not only is the movie disjointed and confusing, it also gets quite mean-spirited. It actually made my kids uncomfortable watching it. We all expected this movie to be a fun, upbeat movie about a young girl being a "spy" and having adventures. Instead the movie had very little to do with adventurous spying, and instead was a showcase of dysfunctional families, a neurotic girl, and vindictive children.

If you are looking for an upbeat family film, this is not the one.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Oh Harriet, let me count the ways in which you entertained me!

7/10
Author: TheLittleSongbird from United Kingdom
2 April 2010

While not as zippily paced as the book, and the film can get predictable and a tad corny, it is entertaining thanks to the spirited acting and the enthusiasm that shapes this movie. The script is well written and quite mature and funny, and the premise about a girl who spies on her friends and family and writes about them in her notebook, is a nice one. The direction is good, the tone of the film is quirky and the performances are great. Michelle Trachtenberg is perfectly cast as Harriet, Trachtenberg was a very promising child actress and this is proof of that. Eartha Kitt is great as Agatha, and Gregory Smith and Vanessa Lee Chester both give spirited turns as Sport and Janie. As Harriet's nanny, Rosie O'Donnell is a really pleasant surprise. Here she gives a very warm performance, and I do think she was better than she was in The Flintstones, where I did like her but she didn't quite have the voluptuousness of her character Betty. The film is well shot, with a nice soundtrack. Overall, not perfect, but definitely worth watching. 7/10 Bethany Cox

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

True to the Book

7/10
Author: brujavu from Glastonbury, UK
17 September 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I loved this book when I was growing up in the sixties, and I was thrilled when I found out that they made a movie out of it, but didn't get around to seeing it until last night. At first, I thought it was going to be one of those disappointing, modernized versions, mostly because of the distracting musical score, but despite the truly annoying score, the movie remained true to the book except for a few minor details. Even the toys depicted were from the era that the book was written in. I think that's so important when making a movie out of a children's book. The story is brilliant, about a little girl who wants to be a writer, so she gets her practice by keeping a notebook in which she writes down all her thoughts and observations about the people in her world, and even goes to the extreme of spying on people to get her material. When the notebook falls into the wrong hands, her world is turned upside down. I think the film does a very good job of portraying the children in a realistic light, and I could identify with Harriet's feelings as well as those of her friends and classmates. The adults in the movie, as well as Harriet's nemesis, seemed a bit like caricatures, but Harriet's character and those of her best friends were quite well developed. Definitely worth seeing if you are a fan of this book.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Quite nice

6/10
Author: Rodrigo Amaro (rodrigo882008@hotmail.com) from São Paulo, Brazil
17 May 2012

A writer while describing the life and work of John Le Carré said this: "Writer and spy are two lonely professions, carried of emotions and both are developed under a certain load of tension". Nothing is more adequate than such quote when the analyzed person is the great Le Carré, author of treasures like "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy", "Smiley's People" among many other espionage novels. The same can't be said to the main character of "Harriet the Spy" neither about the story, that almost reached such description (and it could have been way better).

So, little Harriet (Michelle Trachtenberg) wants to be a writer and for such she pretends to be like a spy who sees everything, writing down all the things she sees, from random and somewhat pointless happenings to making truthful remarks about her friends and school mates. But when her diary is stolen by her most ferocious enemy things can turn out to be real bad for her if such descriptions be known to everyone she knows.

A cute movie, nice to watch but that doesn't help us much. Fine, this a movie for kids and for them is prefect, very enjoyable, but those kind of flicks work better if they attract mature audiences as well, even if using two or three jokes for them. The cast assembled here with names like Trachtenberg, Rosie O'Donnell, Robert Joy and Gregory Smith makes of "Harriet the Spy" quite a good film, and we can excuse some of its problems.

The main focus that a good writer is made with observations and notes only isn't much handy (as Harriet discovers). Above all, and I can't believe this was left out of the movie, a good writer must be a great reader of all sources and different types of readings, must have a background of readings. And if I'm making too much fuzz over a kid's movie, too much complications, is because is that I wanted to see an intelligent work, with this kind of plot but in a dramatic way, with lots of suspense, a teenager who wants to be a writer but gets involved with more and more trouble while covering a story. Instead, we have an emo tale filled with corny moments. But that's OK. 6/10

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Discovery of Self and Society

Author: KaileyLady from United States
7 December 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I still remember coming out of the theater when I was about 8 years old. My father was really surprised by how cruel the children in the film were and he asked me if that's actually how it is. I was more surprised by his reaction than by anything else. Yes, adults need to stop thinking childhood is all about happiness. Personally, it got me to write. At the time I saw this film I had gotten into writing fiction at about age 6. This actually gave me the idea to start journal writing and I have yet to stop at age 22. The way Harriet resolves things with her friends is a bit quick, but I think it's because the other kids become hypocrites. During my college Children's Lit class, we discussed this book and how Harriet is attacked because her thoughts become public. Everyone thinks negative thoughts about everyone else -- It shouldn't make her the target. Self expression is very important to everyone, I think that is a big part of what the story and film are about. Her writing and exploration of the society around her is just like any other child's. She just goes about it more directly.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Greatest Nickelodeon Movie Ever!!!!

10/10
Author: Dragonsonic (Nickelodeon43@hotmail.com) from United States
9 November 2009

"Harriet the Spy" has to be one of Nickelodeon's greatest movies ever created! Michelle Trachtenberg was flawless in her role as Harriet M. Welsch as she displays such emotion and energy, that her acting made Harriet a very likable character. I love the way that Harriet is spunky and eager to learn more about life and that just makes me love her character more. I also love Rosie O'Donnell's role in this movie as she acts as Harriet's guide to learning more about life by encouraging her to write about what she sees out in the open. The scenes where Harriet is tortured by her classmates because she wrote some nasty things about them, is both intense and realistic as we actually see Harriet suffering from losing her two best friends and how she ends up distrusting everyone around her. "Harriet the Spy" is definitely one of Nickelodeon's classics that can't be forgotten for a long time.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

I like this movie a lot

8/10
Author: covergirl10452 from United States
30 June 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

After seeing this movie, Harriet the Spy, I have to admit it was something. Harriet spies a lot, writes down what she learns and observe, and wants to be something in life. Too bad her friends snooped in her notebook and she got exposed. I felt bad for her after everybody found out her private thoughts and hated her for it. Sometimes kids can be relentless. I felt worse when the kids became spy catchers and interfered with her spying, including her own friends Sport and Janie. I also cannot believe they went and got blue paint all over her. I knew after that bitch Marion poured paint in her hair and got slapped in the face for it, that was going to be it. Harriet wasn't lying when she told them she was going to get them real bad, and she did. As I watched her get back at the kids that did cruel things to her, I was cracking up, especially when Laura got nailed by an unexpected haircut. Too bad for Beth's pictures she posted. Harriet vandalized them. Time to throw them away. When Carrie was looking for her bra, it wasn't pretty when she realized that bra Harriet put on a pole was hers. And look how bad Pinky and Janie's projects turned out after Harriet tampered with them. Mostly, I felt worse for Marion and Sport when Harriet said something false about her father to Marion to make her cry like crazy and when Harriet humiliated Sport in front of the whole school by posting an embarrassing picture of him. He was so broken hearted. that was going way too far and was really low even for her. Not just her, all of them. Well, I am glad Harriet's nanny, Golly, gave her advice on what to do. I am even more glad everybody forgave her and left that club Marion and Rachel invented. Besides, even though Marion may have edited the newspaper for 3 years, her writing wasn't as good. She just threw in something and got credit for it. But Harriet knows what she is talking about as the editor of the newspaper now. People are interested and they aren't laughing. You know why? Because it all makes sense. The kids get the point. Harriet had details that made sense. Marion just threw in anything, just so she could get what she wanted. That girl acted like a brat when Harriet suggested it was time to change the person who's editor. She learned that it always doesn't have to be about her, especially at the pageant. Her dancing was all right, but boring. Harriet and her friends fast and active dancing was awesome. Plus, kids really got their groove on when they were limboing on stage, especially Marion, Harriet and her friends. Also, I am relieved that Harriet got back to her spy route after she was forgiven. She is to do what she does best again and put it in article form for the newspaper.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Harriet, how I remember you

6/10
Author: akalite_libra from United States
22 March 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I saw this movie with my dad when it came out in the theaters -AHHH! IT CAME OUT IN IN 1996!!! I FEEL SO OLD!!-...ahem-sorry, my age just slapped me in the face. Anywho, we were watching the movie and the movie went out just as Harriett was taking out all her supplies from various places, and I remember telling my dad, "Maybe they don't want us to know where she keeps her things." The reason I bring up that random memory is because I remember it. I was so entranced by it, I remember saying that. I use to love this movie. The movie use to depress me, though, as Harriet loves all her friends thanks to her spying. Anyway, the acting is OK. Granted, it's no "Shakespeare in love", but it's OK. The story is also very out there, however, that's not fair for me to say, as I can't remember the storyline!

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Not as good as the book...

Author: ScotchTape01 from Ann Arbor, MI
28 September 2003

Growing up, this was one of my favorite books to read...and maybe I was a little old for the movie when it came out (15 or so), but I was quite disappointed. My favorite character was Janie - even though she looked nothing like I'd ever pictured, she was portrayed exactly in the right way. I loved Michelle Trachtenberg in Pete & Pete, and I'm glad she's gone on to bigger and better things - but I really don't think she fit the part well. Harriet was a little more serious of a kid in the book - though maybe that just reflects how I interpreted her, and how seriously *I* took her. All in all, it's not a bad movie - but I recommend reading the book first, or having your child enjoy the book.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Entertainment in a very realistic kids movie.

10/10
Author: GillianJolie from Sunnyvale, Californiia
20 June 2001

I loved this movie. I think Michelle did an excellent job as Harriet. I also like the realness of the movie. Kids do eat weird things and get dirty. I also liked the adventures the nanny, Rosie O'Donnel, took the kids on. Overall it was a very fun and entertaining movie that even little kids will like.

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